Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance while underlining solidarity between Iranian Muslims and followers of other Divine religions said this solidarity is so strong that during critical times, such as Iraqi Imposed war, adherents of other Divine religions such as Christians fought along Iranian Muslims defending their country and a number of them were martyred.
According to Public Relations and Information Center of Ministry of Culture, Mr. Seyyed Abbas Salehi in his meeting with Paul Gallagher, visiting Vatican Minister of Foreign Affairs said the personal and religious security of followers of Divine Religions with respect to current situation in the region, is quite satisfactory adding that Christians, Jews and Armenians are living a peaceful life next to Iranian Muslims.
Mr. Salehi said tolerance and open-mindedness of Iranian society and policies of the country’s leadership is such that one can claim that Iran is the only country in the middle east that followers of all Divine religions live in peace and tranquility along each other.
He added that in recent decades Iran and Vatican had good relations and due to common values such as justice, spirituality and global peace, two sides can promote their cooperation.
Mr. Salehi said Christians have been living in Iran since pre-Islam time and Christianity has always been among country’s official religions and currently there are 40 churches in Tehran and some most ancient churches could be found in Iran.
The Vatican Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Paul Gallagher said he is pleased for the opportunity to visit Iran and meeting country’s officials, as representative of Pope.
He said objective behind his visit to Tehran is expansion of bilateral ties and cooperation.
Mr. Gallagher said there many common values between Iran and Vatican including consolidation of family foundation and various moral and social issues as well as finding solution to global problems and crisis.
He said it’s a source of pleasure and joy the Christian community in Iran have religious and judicial freedom adding that Vatican is interested in having dialog with Iran.
Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance for Press, Mr. Housein Entezami as well as Managing Director of Ministerial Department, Mr. Amin Aref Nia were also present during Mr. Salehi’s meeting with Vatican Minister of Foreign Affairs which took place on Wednesday Sep.7.